Forum Marketing is an easy way to make money on the internet. The major advantage is that you don’t need to have a website or blog to do it.
What is a forum?
A forum is a website where like minded people get together to discuss a specific topic. Within the forum a user can post a ‘thread’ which is simply a topic for discussion. There could be hundreds of different threads going at any one time. Once a thread is posted other users can login and leave a response. Each response is added to the thread and hundreds or even thousands of responses can be posted.
To make money on forums you simply register with a forum and start posting your own responses to threads or you can even create your own threads. At the bottom of each response you leave you add one or more affiliate links to a product.
However, you don’t have to add it manually each time you make a post as forums have what’s known as a signature section where you can add your affiliate links. You only have to do this once and then each time you make a post to the forum your affiliate links will show up automatically at the bottom of your response.
The whole point to this is that you are trying to get readers of the forum to click on your affiliate links. The more posts you make, the more times your links will show up and the more likely they will get clicked on by a reader of the forum.
Step 1: Find a product to market
Before you can start making money with forum marketing you need to actually find a product to market. This doesn’t mean that you have to actually go out and purchase stock to sell. Instead you can become an affiliate and promote someone else’s product and make a commission with each person you refer who makes a purchase of that product.
You can find products in a variety of places but our recommendation is to start with Clickbank as it is easy to use and it has a range of very marketable products.
1. Sign up with Clickbank.
Your first step is to sign up with Clickbank. It’s free and once you have registered you will be ready to start choosing products to promote. Clickbank is the biggest online intermediary for digital downloadable products.
You can also find products at:
2. Click on Marketplace
At the top of the Clickbank screen is a link called ‘Marketplace’. Click on this link and start searching for products. There are thousands to choose from so you need to be a little bit picky as to what you choose as not all products will sell well.
If you are new to all of this, the best thing to do is to find a product that you are interested in. This will make it easier for you when you start leaving forum posts as at least you will have some knowledge of the topic. For instance, if you play the guitar then type in ‘guitar’ into the Clickbank search and see what products come up.
Now the absolute best thing you can do is actually buy the product yourself so you know that it is a quality product. That of course isn’t always practical so look for products that have a high gravity. What this actually means is that a lot of affiliates are promoting it which gives us an indication that it sells well.
Step 2: Find Related Forums
Once you have a product, you need to find forums that relate to your product. For instance, if you chose a dog training ebook then you need to look for forums relating to dogs, animals or pets. To do this head on over to Google search and type in variations of product keywords with the word ‘forum’. For example:
– ‘dog forum’
– ‘puppy forum’
– ‘animal forum’
– ‘pet forum’
This should provide you with a list of related forums that you can start adding comments to. Ensure that each forum is fairly active as your posts will be wasted. To do this just check the number of posts left and check the dates added. If the dates are within the past few days then you know that the forum is fairly active.
What to look for:
- Read the forum rules first before signing up.
- Ensure they allow signatures in your posts and allow affiliate links
- Ensure they are active
Step 3: Sign up for each forum
Now you need to register with each related forum. Just look for a place on the forum page called ‘Register’ or something similar.
Step 4: Start leaving posts
Before you start adding affiliate links it is important that you read the rules of the forum. You should also spend some time just reading through the forum to see what sorts of discussions are going on and what questions are being asked.
To do this, click on a thread that interests you and read what the person has to say. You will probably find responses under that initial thread so read each of those as well as it will give you an idea of what sorts of things are spoken about.
If you have something to contribute then look for a button or link that allows you to respond. It will be say something like ‘Respond to this thread’ or ‘Reply’ or ‘Add a response’. Just click on that and you will be presented with a box where you can type in your response. Once you have done that just click on the button or link that allows you to post to the forum. It will say something like ‘Save’ or ‘Post’ or ‘Submit’ or something similar.
Don’t be shy about making posts. You have to start somewhere so just provide your thoughts and then move onto the next thread. Add four or five responses to get the hang of it.
1. Never spam the forum. In other words don’t write your posts just to promote your product. You will be thrown out of the forum quick smart if you do this. You don’t want to even mention the product you are promoting in your responses. This is done via your signature which we will come to next.
2. Never leave short answers like ‘nice post’ or ‘great idea’. This is not contributing to the forum in any way and again you will probably be thrown out. Leave good quality responses that provide value to the forum.
Step 5: Add your signature
Most forums have a signature section which allows you to add some text and a link or two below each of your forum posts. Some forums require you to add a certain amount of posts before you can add a signature. This may well be worth the effort if the forum is very active.
To add a signature look for the CPanel or CP or user admin area of the forum. You have to be logged in to access this section. Once in this area you may need to click around on the menu bar to see where the signature section is hidden. It is not always obvious.
Once you have found it you will need to add the Clickbank hoplink to this section. To get your Clickbank hoplink you just click on the “create hoplink” link under the product your are going to promote and then type in your Clickbank nickname. You would have created this when you registered with Clickbank.
BUT you don’t just want to add the link to the signature section as that would be really boring and nobody would click on it. You need to find something that will entice the person to click so start thinking of a catchy phrase or sentence that you can use to incorporate with your affiliate link. For instance if you are promoting a dog ebook then you might use one of the following:
– Proven methods to stop your dog from barking. Click here to see how.
– In just five minutes you can teach your dog to sit. Click here to see how.
– My dog was a biter. Click here to see how I fixed it.
Now you don’t want to lie here and make up stories so ensure that what you say in your signature is accurate.
Now you just need to combine your text with your Clickbank hoplink. Forums usually use a type of code called BBCode which uses a system of tags, There are a number of tags we can use but for our affiliate link we want to use the [url] tag.
So lets just say we have our text that we want to use which is: “Proven methods to stop your dog from barking. Click here to see how” and we also have our Clickbank hoplink which is http://www.myclickbanknickname.dogtrainingebook.com.
Now we want the reader to be able to click on the words ‘Click here’ in our piece of text so we need to add a link to those words. To create the code for this we do the following:
We then add our text around this as follows:
Proven methods to stop your dog from barking. [url=http://www.wspc25.dogtrainingebook.com]Click here[/url] to see how.
This will display as follows:
Proven methods to stop your dog from barking. Click here to see how.
Once you have done this then save your changes and click the Preview link if the forum has one so you can see if your link works. If they don’t have a preview link then the only way to check is to create a post in the forum and see if your signature shows up correctly at the end of your post.
Just start leaving as many forum posts as you can on as many forums as you can. But always keep in mind that you need to provide value to the forum by writing good quality responses. You are better off in the long run providing quality rather than quantity as other readers are more likely to click on your link if you have something of value to say.